Christchurch Cosmopolitan cafes, gorgeous gardens and surprising street art – post-quake Christchurch is brimming with activity.
Dunedin Gothic architecture, edgy arts, vibrant nightlife and wildlife on the doorstep.
Nelson Art, culture, cuisine and beaches – it’s no wonder this is touted as the lifestyle capital of New Zealand.
Invercargill Not rock and roll, but gloriously retro, friendly and full of neat old buildings.
Queenstown Petite but rollicking tourism centre with a sophisticated arts and dining scene.
Wharariki No ice-cream van, no swimming. Just an enthralling, empty beach for wanderers and ponderers.
Anchorage Forget Photoshop, these surreal golden sands, blue waters and verdant green hills are for real.
Kaka Point A sweeping surf beach on a coast home to seals, sea lions and myriad seabirds.
Colac Bay A top spot for surfing, but this far south be sure to pack a wetsuit.
Okarito A wild, empty West Coast gem backed by a bird-filled lagoon.
Sumner The perfect spot for swimming, surfing and a sundowner, a short bus ride from Christchurch.
Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre Learn about traditional Māori rock art both in the museum and at nearby sites.
Okains Bay Māori & Colonial Museum View an outstanding array of heritage treasures including waka taua (war canoes).
Hokitika Watch the masters carve stone, bone, paua (shell) and pounamu (greenstone) in traditional Māori designs.
Ko Tane See a replica Māori village and an evening cultural show at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.
Museums & Galleries
Christchurch Art Gallery Better than ever after post-quake restoration, with world-class permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Otago Museum Enlightening human stories and an introduction to the area’s unique wildlife.
Canterbury Museum A wide-ranging collection of historical exhibits presented in a splendid earthquake survivor.
World of WearableArt Museum Home to the world-famous, wonderfully weird and wacky wearable-art show.
Eastern Southland Gallery Houses impressive works by iconic New Zealand artists Ralph Hotere and Rita Angus.
Shantytown Delve into the West Coast's flinty gold- and coal-mining past at this replica pioneer village.
Milford Track Touted as the greatest of the Great Walks – 54km of fiords, sounds and peaks.
Routeburn Track The Great Walk competing with the Milford as the best of the bunch.
Mt Robert Circuit Nelson Lakes’ premier day walk with stupendous views earned via the Pinchgut Track.
Old Ghost Road Built for bikers, this new multiday wilderness epic is also a tramper's delight.
Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Traverse rugged tops and a remote coast in the deep south.
Abel Tasman Coast Track Stroll past sparkling seas, pristine beaches and coastal forests on this well-trodden track.
Pubs, Bars & Beer
Nelson Tour pubs and breweries on a craft-beer trail throughout New Zealand’s original home of hops.
Christchurch Pubs such as Pomeroy’s and the Brewery show commitment to the craft cause.
Dunedin Home to lively student bars and two big-name breweries – Speight's and Emerson's.
Queenstown Quench your thirst after a day’s mountain biking, bungy jumping or skiing.
Invercargill Brewery A workhorse with its own range that also brews drops for some of NZ’s best.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Treble Cone Challenging downhill terrain within a stone’s throw of Wanaka.
Canterbury Ski Mt Hutt, and stacks of smaller fields like Ohau, Roundhill, Porters and Broken River.
Coronet Peak Ski or snowboard Queenstown’s oldest field then join the resort town’s legendary après-ski scene.
Cardrona More great skiing in the Queenstown/Wanaka area, with slopes to suit all levels of experience.
Marlborough Superb sauvignon blanc and pretty winery restaurants are just the start of the story.
Nelson Marlborough’s near neighbour is smaller in scale but equally scenic.
Waitaki Valley Truly boutique producers wrangle tricky terroir in New Zealand’s edgiest wine region.
Central Otago Dozens of cellar doors nestle amid schist landscapes producing sublime pinot noir.
Waipara Valley North Canterbury’s up-and-coming region produces spectacular pinot noir and riesling.
Queenstown Bungy with the world’s originals at AJ Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge, Ledge or Nevis sites.
Skydive Franz If you’re going to do it, go for the highest –19,000ft above alps and glaciers.
Abel Tasman Canyons Paddle, swim, slide and leap through a hidden gorge in the national park.
Raft the Buller Bounce through the thrilling rapids on this mighty West Coast river.